Gitmo, Kafka, and the abuse of ‘law’

Kudos to Christopher Flavelle of ProPublica for his article about the case of Kuwaiti citizen Fouad Mahmoud al-Rabiah. Rabiah’s been held at Gitmo since 2002– and finally, last month, received a judgment of ‘Habeas Corpus’ from US District Court for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
‘Habeas Corpus’ is Latin for, “that you may have the body”. Basically it means the government now needs to give due cause to the judge as to why they want to continue to hold Rabiah– or else, to release him.
Let us only hope for the sake of this man and the others like him that this next step is speedily accomplished.
Kollar-Kotelly’s judgment is important because in it she disposes speedily and abruptly with many of the claims made by the US government defendants in the case. Also, because the transcript of her carefully reasoned judgment, which ProPublica makes available in the lightly redacted form in which the court gave it to them, makes clear that the only evidence the US government ever had against Rabiah was (a) evidence provided by fellow detainees after interrogations that were, presumably, extremely abusive, and (b) ‘confessions’ that he made after very abusive interrogations and after he’d been told that other people had ‘informed’ against him and that he needed to confess to something if he ever wanted to return to his home again.
It is so very, very complex and painful for the US justice system to unwind the many contortions and distortions into which the Bush-era policy of detentions and interrogations wound it.
I wish Obama and Attorney-General Eric Holder would work much faster on this. All this junk evidence that emanates only from abusive interrogations should be summarily thrown out and all the detainees freed against whom there is not good, untainted, independent evidence of wrongdoing.
The rest of the detainees should speedily be brought to trial– preferably within the US, or anyway with all the protections to which they would be due in a US courtroom– on the basis of that good, untainted evidence and only that evidence.
To do anything else only further degrades the bedrock of our country’s constitutional system.

One thought on “Gitmo, Kafka, and the abuse of ‘law’”

  1. “… sources that never even existed.”
    How wonderful.
    More stunning investigative work, and another outstanding legal performance, from the firm of Fraudulent & Unconstitutional… errrrrr, I meant to say Bush & Chaney.

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